resisting an officer traffic stop
01Jul

Resisting an Officer in Louisiana – New Law Update

Effective August 1, 2024, a new change to the Louisiana Resisting an Officer law in La. R.S. 14:108 will go into effect. The new law will add a provision referring to the “obstruction of” an officer.  Essentially the new law makes it illegal for the driver of a vehicle to refuse to provide his driver’s license to a police officer that has stopped him legally. The new law will be found at La. R.S. 14:108(B)(1)(f) and read as follows:

Failure to provide or display the person’s state issued driver’s license or identification on the officer’s request when the person is an operator of a motor vehicle, the person has been lawfully detained for an alleged violation of a law, and the officer has exhausted all resources at his disposal to verify the identity of the person.

Legislature website

Purpose of the New Law

I imagine the purpose of clarifying the illegality of failure of a driver to provide identification is because in recent years, people have become increasingly more defensive with police officers. It is a trend now to be as difficult as possible with police officers by refusing to present identification, refusing to answer simple questions, and attempting to film the interaction with their phone. All of this behavior is done with no real thought. It is done just because they see others do it and they think they should too.

If the driver would simply cooperate and be cordial with the officer, the interaction would go much smoother. But since they want to mimic others they see on social media and create a problem, they will catch a charge. The officer will also likely put them in handcuffs and book them in jail.

What is the Impact of this New Law?

Practically, it doesn’t change very much. Before this change, if a driver refused to provide his driver’s license, he got charged with Resisting an Officer under provision (c). The new provision will further clarify that it is illegal to not provide your driver’s license or identification when an officer asks for it if you have been driving a motor vehicle.

The new provision states that the officer must have “exhausted all resources at his disposal to verify the identity of the person.” This could mean that the officer must run the license plate and verify if the driver is the registered owner of the vehicle. Nevertheless, that doesn’t accurately determine who the driver is. The presentation of identification really is the best way for an officer to identify an individual.

Penalty

The penalty for Resisting an Officer remains unchanged by this amendment. The penalty is still a fine of up to $500 and/or jail for up to 6 months.

Read more about Resisting an Officer here. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Louisiana, contact our criminal defense attorneys for help.

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